March 18, 2012

Running really is a mentality

My Sunday morning run consisted of 6 glorious, speedy miles.
I know. Some of you might really be wondering how 6 miles could be glorious, and speedy, but can I just tell you that today, for me they were.
First of all I should say I'm not a fast runner. I never really have been. I ran sprints in high school track, but I was only fast when I ran with three other girls on a relay team because they could make up for my slower seconds. For about the last several years, I clock in around 10 minute miles.
An average pace.
A pace I'm really ok with because I could keep it up forever, and I’m all about the distance traveled.
However, I'm also my biggest competitor, so secretly, I want to be fast.

Kind of how I picture myself
Fast like all the other runner bloggers I read who clock in around 7-8 minute miles on a consistent basis. Or who can run around a solid or even sub 3-hour marathon.
But my mind often tells me I’ll never be that fast.
Oh that mind of mine. Have you ever noticed how it can be your own worst enemy?
Because I sure do. Just about every time I head out to run.
But this morning. Let me tell you. This morning I was ready. I was going to fight. I had courage, and I was going to finish a good 6 miles.
I had pizza to eat Friday night, about a half a loaf of bread yesterday, and some potatoes with dinner.
I pretty much did my favorite thing ever leading up to a run: carb loading.
I digress.
In addition to carb loading, I had some decent sleep this week, and I actually slept past 7 this morning by about 5 minutes so I was rested a ready to go.
And I planned on purchasing some new running shoes this afternoon so I really wanted to give this horrible pair a good send off.
After all, I have been running in the wrong sort of shoes for about a year now,  and I wanted to prove to them, that despite how much I hated them and the pain they caused me, I could still beat the odds and pull out a good time.
Wouldn’t you know. I put my courage to heart and clocked in 6.03 miles in 54:53.
I ran six miles in under an hour. This is quite possibly a first for me. I’m going to go ahead an blame it on the endorphin high, and tell you that I also ran negative splits the whole time.
Runner Talk 101: Negative split = decrease in time each mile or getting faster each mile. What you ideally want to strive for.

Mine were as follows:
Mile 1 - 9:16
Mile 2 – 9:12
Mile 3 – 9:12
Mile 4 – 9:06
Mile 5 – 8:55
Mile 6 – 8:42

And yes, those last two miles were under 9 minute miles. I have never, ever in any of my training/racing clocked in miles that fast (fast to me, anyway).
See, women marathon/distance runners tend to peak in their late 20’s  to early 30’s, so I’m sort of contributing that factor to the tiny bit of speed I seem to be picking up as my training moves along.
But mostly, I’m sticking by my guns.
Running is 90% mental. If you tell yourself that you’re going to [insert goal here], then you’re going to. It really is as simple as that.

Now I can give away my sneakers with a good sendoff.